GAO: Air Force should match fighter training to emerging threats
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 21, 2016
Maintenance and high deployment rates are among the issues keeping Air Force combat fighter squadrons from meeting annual training requirements, according to a federal audit released Monday.
But the Government Accountability Office says those unmet requirements for the full range of core missions might not reflect current and emerging training needs and threats because the Air Force has not comprehensively assessed the assumptions underlying them, such as “the total annual live-fly sortie requirements by aircraft” and the “criteria for designating aircrews as experienced or inexperienced.”
The GAO said squadrons were able to complete mission-training requirements for ongoing contingency operations such as close air support to ground forces, but had limited ability to complete training for all core missions.
Based on interviews with wing and squadron commanders, the audit found that the four most common reasons for incomplete training were unavailability of aircraft because of maintenance, high deployment rates, extensive use of aircraft for large exercises and personnel shortages.